Not just Iqaluit: Clyde River experiencing water problems

Hamlet’s water treatment plant has been broken for a week

A mechanical issue at the water treatment plant in Clyde River has meant residents are receiving water from Ayr Lake that needs to be boiled before using. (File Photo)

By David Lochead

Iqaluit is not the only place in Nunavut with drinking water problems, as Clyde River residents are well aware.

The Baffin Island community’s water treatment plant has been broken for just over a week, said Billy Palluq, the hamlet’s acting senior administrative officer.

As a result, residents are receiving trucked water from Ayr Lake that is under a boil water advisory, he said.

Palluq said that water delivery delays meant he could not do dishes or wash clothes for about a week.

There are several reasons for the delays, he said.

The hamlet only has two water trucks and pumping the water directly from the lake in cold temperatures is more challenging than filling trucks at the water treatment plant, Palluq said.

“It takes a lot longer,” he said.

As well, Clyde River received a large snowfall and the hamlet’s snow-clearing equipment broke down, Palluq said. Mechanics recently flew in to fix the equipment, he added.

“We get lots of snow here in Clyde River … after blizzards the snowbanks go up to six feet high,” Palluq said.

Since the start of the water problem, Palluq said the hamlet has asked residents to conserve as much water as possible.

The Government of Nunavut’s Department of Health was notified of the water problem on Nov. 11, spokesperson Danarae Sommerville said in an email to Nunatsiaq News. The department issued a boil water advisory for Clyde River on Nov. 16, stating the advisory was due to a mechanical issue at the hamlet’s water treatment plant.

When asked what the mechanical issue is, Sommerville said that the Department of Community and Government Services are better suited to answer. That department, in turn, did not respond to questions from Nunatsiaq News.

Palluq said an electrician is arriving on Monday, Nov. 22, with parts needed to fix the water treatment plant.

But getting help has been not easy, as the hotel in Clyde River is booked, so it was difficult to find accommodation for the electrician, Palluq said.

Palluq said the water treatment plant was built around the 1990s and has sporadic mechanical problems when the temperatures get colder.

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(2) Comments:

  1. Posted by Old timer on

    It not just you guys whale cove have been doing this for years and years and because it a same town they don’t care.

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    • Posted by Nunavimmiuq on

      Sanikiluaq also had salinity issues with their water. Nunavik has a bunch of problems. Ivujivik was a cause for concern over the winter. It seems that as long as the southerners are happy, they won’t care for the people of the land they rely on for an economy.

      It’s like they’re telling us to pay for ourselves when they wouldn’t even have reasons to be here if it wasn’t for us natives!

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